In digital advertising in 2018, one can’t go far before bumping in to the thorny issue of brand safety.

“We have all seen press stories in the U.K. earlier this year reporting on iconic brands’ ads showing up in front of or alongside YouTube videos extolling inappropriate extremist views.” - Forbes

This isn’t an entirely new concept. It has always been the responsibility of the media agency (or internal media team) to ensure a brand’s advertising appears within the right context however digital advertising, specifically programmatic, has opened up tremendous opportunities to follow the consumer rather than the content and the industry is coming to realise the need for balance between the two.

Younger generations of consumers are showing an increasing sensitivity toward the subtle queues that bad placement conveys about a brand. Campaigns such as Stop Funding Hate are leading the way in the UK by encouraging Britain's best-loved brands to pull their ads from tabloid newspapers accused of spreading hatred in their content.

With printed advertising or broadcast TV and radio, lead times make pulling incorrectly-placed advertising from a publication or broadcaster a challenge.
Furthermore, in South Africa, podcast hosting providers have specifically catered for brand safety by enabling advertisers and their agencies with the capability of including or excluding channels, providers, and specific episodes.